Cover Osteuropa 6/2007

In Osteuropa 6/2007

Material Sample

Andrej Sinjavskij

Deutsche Fassung


The scent of death hangs over Varlam Shalamov’s Kolyma Tales. But the word “death” means nothing here. Usually, we understand death in the abstract: the end, we all die. To imagine death as a way of life which drags on is much more appalling. It means “in the face of death.” Shalamov’s tales are in written in the face of life. And life is what is appalling. Shalamov’s cutaway sample of human material shows its remaining qualities: chapped skin, muscles as thin as string, dried out brain cells, frozen fingers, festering sores. That is man. Man withered to the bones, with which the bridge to socialism is built.

(Osteuropa 6/2007, pp. 81–86)